System Shock 2 Retrospective

Rock, Paper, Shotgun has a retrospective article looking back at the making of System Shock 2.
Neurath's offer was incredibly open. Looking Glass had, in developing Thief: The Dark Project, developed their own in-house engine. All of Irrational were experienced with it, having all worked on Thief. Why not make a game with it with us? Any game you fancy, really. (We immediately started designing,) Levine says, (The three partners sat down, and we ended up with a game design which was basically our design for Shock 2, but in a totally different world. It was a kind of Heart of Darkness story, with a military commander gone crazy and your mission was to go to this crazy space-ship and assassinate him.). This was pitched around various publishers. The one who bit was Electronic Arts, who through their purchase of Origin were the possessor of the System Shock IP. They suggested that the game could, in fact, be System Shock 2. (And we said. um. sure,) Levine laughs, (I rewrote the story and changed a few of the things, but the game design never changed.)

Hello, Ian Curtis here! I read RPS every day.
It was a rare opportunity. The original System Shock was one of the games which made Levine want to move into the games industry in the first place. What made it so special? (The feeling of being in a real place,) Levine says, (The feeling of a mystery, of unraveling it not in an adventure game way, but in the context of an action game. You arrive and. what happened here? That's a really good storytelling mechanism.) Austin Grossman and Doug Church original idea from Shock was something Irrational expanded in their sequel. (In Shock 1 you were a specific guy, so had a backstory,) Levine says, (With Shock 2, I really started you out with the classic (you wake up with amnesia).)